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RetailMeNot: The Misinformation Continues

|Includes:RetailMeNot, Inc. (SALE)


In a perfect world no one would make a mistake, but there is nothing perfect about human beings and sometimes we just get it all wrong. When this happens we have a moral and ethical obligation to admit our mistake, correct it, and offer an apology.

I lecture to my employees that integrity is not only doing the right thing when people are watching you, but genuine integrity is doing what is right when no one is watching you. True integrity is a kind of moral compass that points us in the right direction and we choose to follow it.

Unfortunately, I have not seen a pretense of integrity concerning the misinformation being propagated on RetailMeNot's (NASDAQ:SALE) false earnings reports.

When media pundits first confused RetailMeNot's earnings report by spreading the wrong earnings results I wrote this article on August 6, 2014. Since then I have not seen one retraction, correction or apology for their egregious error.

Even more reprehensible is the rush by a few short sellers to further convolute matters by saying the earnings reports that were wrongly published and instantly caused a 20% decline in the stock price really don't matter. These false reports claimed the company missed its earnings forecast by $0.09 instead of beating by $0.01 and caused the stock to plunge in about 1 minute. For a detailed explanation read here.

Their writings infer a general wholesale condemnation of the company in a classic yellow journalistic style. One such report even includes a graphic picture of an all-consuming fire burning up a small amount of kindling. The imagery is classic yellow journalism as is the commentary that always seeks to induce an emotionally negative response rather than a thoughtful review of factual financial data.

It is unconscionable that these hacks and pundits continue to perpetuate these erroneous reports and them add insult to injury by saying it really doesn't matter that the financial information was falsely reported and the stock plunged because, in their opinion, the company sucks.

For clarification the company actually reported:

The GAAP estimate $0.07 was actual $0.08, a penny better than expected. The non-GAAP estimate $0.17 was actual $0.18, a penny better than expected.


Disclosure: The author is long SALE.

Stocks: SALE